UPDATED: Monday, July 15 (9 a.m.) – Cameron Bairstow’s coming out party as one of the most improved players in the Mountain West Conference started in the second half of the University of New Mexico’s 2012-13 season.
It’s continuing this summer on the international stage as Bairstow came up big in the clutch moments Monday morning, leading his Australin Boomers team past Serbia, 65-62, in the semifinals of the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.
He and the Boomers play host Russia for a gold medal on Tuesday.
In the Serbia victory, Bairstow, the 6-foot-9 Lobos senior power forward, scored 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots.
With two minutes, six seconds to go, Bairstow hit a basket to erase what had earlier been an 18-point Serbia lead to tie the game 58-58.
In the final 2:06 after tying the game, Bairstow drew three fouls, grabbed two rebounds, had a steal and hit two free throws in the final 27 seconds to seal the deal.
Bairstow’s UNM teammate Alex Kirk, after his Team USA beat Germany earlier in the day 92-70, took to Twitter with updates and pictures from the stands throughout the game and congratulated his frontcourt mate after the game.
As for Kirk, he scored two points and grabbed two rebounds in 10 minutes in Team USA’s win (though Kirk actually posted his statline on Twitter as being four point, six rebounds).
Team USA plays Finland on Tuesday for ninth place in the tournament.
New Mexico State junior guard Daniel Mullings, meanwhile, scored 12 points (tied for team high), grabbed seven rebounds and had three assists in a 78-68 semifinal loss to Russia. The host country was led by 20 points from Sergey Karasev, who was selected No. 19 overall in the first round of last month’s NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Mullings and Canada play Serbia on Tuesday in the Bronze Medal game.